Against the four-heart contract, West leads the ace of spades. You follow after looking at the dummy with the king of spades. West continues spades, and declarer ruffs your queen. When declarer leads a trump toward dummy, your partner discards a spade. Declarer calls for dummy’s nine of hearts. How do you intend to conduct the rest of the defense?
If you take the nine of hearts with your Jack, your defense is powerless. The remaining trump in dummy will control the impending spade force if you play a third spade. If you draw a passive trump, a diamond or any club, declarer will have the entries to draw trump and run diamonds.
Declarer has played well. If he wins the queen of hearts to take the marked finesse against your Jack of hearts, he will not be able to concede the fifth trump to you while you retain the third spade. When he returns to diamonds instead, you would ruff the third diamond, cutting him off from his long diamond suit in dummy. A spade return would then ensure his defeat no matter which defender holds the ace of clubs.
If you have the wit to withhold the Jack of hearts when declarer puts in dummy’s nine, down goes the game.
Declarer cannot draw all the trump or safely concede the fifth round. You can ruff the third diamond to your advantage and exit with a spade, and declarer will have to lose at least two club tricks.
It was declarer’s bad luck to be playing against you when you were at the top of your game.
Donna Swan is a resident of Longboat Key, an ardent bridge player and an American Contract Bridge League certified director who plays “for the fun of it.”
WHERE TO PLAY
Bayfront Park Recreation Center
Duplicate bridge games are at 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact Larry Auerbach at 758-2017 to reserve your spot.